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February 2014 Archive

be easy on yourself

You may have noticed lately I’ve been working extra hard. Today’s post will be a little different. I’m purposeful – I’m taking it easy.

I always am busy, I always work a lot – but lately my mind has been spinning and I have been going a million miles an hour. We have launched some BIG & gorgeous websites, I’ve started the new session of Design Life Project, I just launched Pretty Perfect Process and next week I’m opening up registration for the BIG one, Create Passive Profits. So far, it hasn’t bothered me, until today. And it’s not the busy that’s bothering me. It’s my expectations of MYSELF.

I’ve been awful hard on myself since the start of 2014. As soon as my morning sickness had subsided, I pushed the pedal full throttle. I planned/executed a big party for Aven’s 3rd birthday, and put a lot of pressure on myself with that too. As a creative, I want to feed my artistic soul, as a serial entrepreneur I always want to be starting things. As a sort of perfectionist, I want to do everything I do bigger and better. I really enjoy everything I do, so it’s not really work per se.

My biggest problem, is my expectations of myself.

I set the bar crazy high for myself. I expect a certain outcome and when it doesn’t happen, I tend to be very hard on myself. Does this sound familiar? I can’t be the only one! I’m sitting here today, wondering about the new course I’m opening up next week. I’m REALLY excited about it. It’s exactly what I WISH was out there when I was looking. It’s chock-full with valuable information and I’m so excited to share it with the world. I’m expecting it to totally change lives and directions of businesses. But I started to think… what if no one registers? What’s my goal amount of sales on it? Am I launching it too soon? Is it ready? I then started to think about the pricing. Is it too low? Just right? Too high? I’m giving out a ton of information – is it too much? Is it enough? I never really put this much pressure on myself before. This just means so much to me, and I’m so excited – that I’ve set the stakes really high for myself.

But you know what I just realized? No matter what, it will be okay. It is what it is, and it’s not ultimately in my hands. I started to think back to when I was dealing with my tumor – how I was convinced junk like this just didn’t matter. And in the long run, it doesn’t. What matters is that I love every second of learning, teaching, sharing and helping. THAT’S what matters – and that’s the bar I’m going to set for myself. As long as I just help ONE person – that is enough. I am enough. The bottom line does not matter – I’m not doing this for the money anyway. It’s always been about spreading my reach so that I can help others with what I’ve been through.

Helping others is enough. It matters more than anything we can do in this life.

I’d love to encourage you today, to be easy on yourself. Maybe you’re worried about sales, about marketing, about social media presence… just pause for now. Just let yourself be. You are perfect just as you are, right now. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Just be perfectly imperfect as God made you, and enjoy it.

I think lately my drive and spirit has pushed me to be pretty salesy and businessy (not that there’s anything wrong with that)… but I’m looking forward to getting more personal and open again with you all. I’d also love to encourage you all to share with me. Have you been through this recently? Are you going through this now?

Happy Friday, wishing you rest and rejuvenation this weekend!

the case for passive income

Passive income is a hot-button issue right now in a lot of circles, and for GOOD reason. It really fits hand-in-hand with the Design Life Project lifestyle, as a real way to create more balance in our lives, work less for more money, and develop a business that supports our lifestyle, rather than the other way around.

If you’re like I was, you may think:

“I’m busy and my business is thriving. Why would I need to develop a system for passive income?”

I’ve thought this over and over – and figured the whole “passive income craze” had no relevance in my service-based, client-based, CUSTOM, built-from-scratch, one-of-a-kind business. But I was totally wrong. It is relevant – to ANY business, but especially creative ones, and here’s why:

  • Invest your time instead of just spending it

The biggest case for creating a passive revenue stream in your business is it’s an amazing INVESTMENT. Not investment of money in the traditional sense, though. As your business grows, you’ll realize your most precious asset is time. You may think time is time and goes by no matter what – but it’s not really true. There’s a way to invest your time – and it’s in developing a passive income system. You spend the time ONCE and it keeps working for you – without you spending the time over and over again. Your time is exponentially MORE valuable when spending it creating a passive income system. It can potentially grow and grow, unlike how you’re spending time now. Time is finite in the trade-hours-for-money scenario.

  • Easiest time in history for passive incomes

Right now is the easiest and most fertile planting ground for developing a passive income system. It’s a bit ridiculous how easy it is to start. The cost is super low, and you can start it RIGHT NOW. You don’t need a degree, or even a specialty. You just need a passion – ANY passion. If you know anything about anything – there’s a profit to be made on it. There are people out there who want to know what you know, or want to buy what you make. And connecting those clients with you and your offering is the easiest it’s EVER been. NOW is the time to start. It truly is the future, and the entrance gates are unlocked and are wide open right now. Why NOT start now?

  • Business “insurance” plan

As women, building a business can be particularly scary. We have an extra set of worries when it comes to starting a family. There is such an uncertainty. If you already have children, you already know how big of a change happened in your life. If you don’t already have kids, you can only imagine how your life would change. For all of us though, when a business depends on only us – we get worried something could happen to us and render us temporarily unable to work. Developing a passive income system is a way to serve as a backup plan – or an insurance type business for us. It reduces our client dependency for our business to thrive. And who doesn’t want a little extra security right?

  • Helping other people isn’t limited

The businesses that do the best, are those that HELP people. It is fulfilling as a business owner, and a as person, to be able to help people. As it currently stands though, you can only help so many people, because you’re just one person. When you develop a system, it can grow and grow and help many more people than you could ever handle on your own. Your reach is spread to the sky – and you can truly feel amazing about that! It is worth it!


Cheers to a bright future – filled with passive incomes, fulfilling work, and being with the ones you love!

3 ways to future-proof your business

Lately, I’ve been thinking a LOT about the future. Entrepreneurship and running your own business can both stable and unstable at the same time.

Now, when comparing it to a 9-5 for someone else, I do think it’s MORE stable. You control your destiny ultimately, after all. No one can lay you off or fire you. You control what you charge and how much you make, you control how much you work. Why then, is going out on your own (and STAYING out on your own) so scary? Why is it seen as such a big risk? I think our biggest fear of starting our own business – is the FUTURE of our business. Will people always buy what we’re selling? Will we always be busy? What if what we offer goes out of style? What if what we offer becomes obsolete? I’ll still argue that this can (and does) happen to a 9-5 you could be working at as well. They can get phased out as well. BUT… there are MANY successful businesses that have been around for double digit years and I think they have some knowledge of what it takes to survive. It’s NOT just sitting still and keeping your head down. You have to be flexible, have lots of passion and tons of tenacity. Here’s a few steps for the small business entrepreneur and how we can future-proof our businesses:

Dream, Dream, Dream

Maintaining a successful business takes ideas – and lots of them. Good ideas, and bad ideas – but it takes ideas. If you don’t already have an idea book, get one. Ideas are fleeting and the good ones will leave your brain just as soon as you get distracted. Whether you’re using dictation software on your phone, or an old-fashioned journal – don’t trust your brain to remember. Also, don’t edit your ideas and dreams. Just write them down, because they may lead to something else in the future. Dreams are the sustenance to a thriving business. They keep the business nourished, happy and healthy.

Listen to your Heart

It’s imperative that your HEART is in what you do. Infuse yourself and what you love into your business. You have to have an undying passion for what you do. If you’re heart WAS in it, but isn’t anymore – it’s time to re-evaluate what you do and maybe change it. If you don’t love it, why will anyone else love it? A lot of creative brands these days are creating umbrella brands (most often self-branded) so that they can be free to follow any path that it takes them. If you develop a strong brand around YOU, you can always change things up when you change. This will ensure your heart is always in it. Not sure what you love? Fill out the YES list and see what you need to infuse into your life/business to bring in more passion.

Action speaks – Do

The best idea in the world will die if you don’t take action. I’m very action oriented now (I did NOT use to be though), and it KILLS me to see dreams fly away when someone doesn’t take action on them. Fear is so strong, that it holds many people back. It took me awhile to understand that fear is an emotion, to recognize, and then move on. If I let fear stop me, and I had sat by and didn’t do thing I was afraid of, I might not be here (see my story if you haven’t read it already). Action doesn’t need to be dramatic or grandiose. It can be small, simple action. The more important principle to action is to just DO. As long as you are moving, you are moving. If you just spent 10 minutes a day on something, before you know it, you will be far on your way!

I hope this encourages you today friends. If you haven’t taken the leap into entrepreneurship, or if you want to change up your business but you’re afraid of change, take this to heart. I see this work every day with all kinds of businesses. Give it a go, friends!


Tired of trading hours for dollars? Interested in learning how to build systems to develop passive revenue streams? I’ll be opening registration next week for the Create Passive Profits e-course. This session is going to be information PACKED to give you lots of options for your business, whether you are service based or product based. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter so that you can snag your spot!

Pretty perfect process digital workshop is launched!!

I’m so excited to let you all know that the Pretty Perfect Process digital workshop has now launched!

This is a self-study course that you can take at ANY time! You can take it NOW and it’s 100% online.


If you’re like most creatives, you started your business out of your passion and your love. You probably developed a system or process as you went along – and it revolves around YOU. Now you’re getting busier and you’re burning the candle from both ends. Perhaps your business relies a little TOO heavily on your input now.

There’s a smarter way to work, that will free up your time AND will be better for your clients.

Whether you are still in the early stages of planning your business, or you have been in business for years (but can’t seem to take it to the next level), Pretty Perfect Process is your chance to streamline your processes to make your life easier and to make the process easier, clearer, and more fun for your clients. You will put them to ease with your knowledge and ability to provide what they are needing before they even ask for it.

Pretty Perfect Process is a 4 lesson self-study digital workshop designed to streamline your processes in a thoughtful and intelligent way.

Pretty Perfect Process is customized to your business, and will help automate the processes that are extraneous so that you can get to the parts you LOVE about your business.

Let’s develop a pretty, perfect process for your business to save you time, money, AND give your clients a beautiful and unforgettable experience! Pretty Perfect Process workshop is only $75! REGISTER below to start the workshop right away!

LAUNCH SALE! Now through March 1st – type in code PPPLAUNCHSALE for $10 off of the course!

PPP focuses on 4 modules to design your process:

  1. How perfecting process catapults your business
  2. Evaluate ideal clients and audit current processes
  3. Perfect client experience every time
  4. Speed up and streamline the steps so that you can focus on the fun!

Pretty Perfect Process is a online, self-study digital workshop that you can take anywhere, anytime.

Each module will be available immediately in the digital classroom online. For each module, you’ll get:

  • A comprehensive training video for each lesson (approximately 15 – 30 minutes long)
  • The video lesson in on Vimeo – Mobile-friendly
  • Worksheets and examples to help you apply the techniques to your business
  • Action steps so you can get actually build your processes as you go

Pretty Perfect Process is taught by Graphic and Web Designer Cathy Olson, owner of the design studio Love-Inspired. She has over 14 years experience as a professional graphic designer, and has worked with a range of businesses – big ones like Disney, Costco, Best Buy and Walmart – to small ones like work-from-home moms, working from a desk and a laptop in the wee hours. Cathy started her own design business over 6 years ago, and in that time has helped hundreds of businesses find their authentic voice through exploration, social media, marketing, graphics, and web. She has dealt first-hand with the juggling a thriving business, being a mom to a growing family, and personal goals. She’s experienced overwhelm first hand, and has learned how to balance work AND life in a fun, personalized and EASY TO STICK WITH way. This class is perfect for designers, photographers, artists and creatives who want to have more free time, attract their dream clients, work smarter not harder, and truly start to LIVE the LIFE they want to.

Let’s develop a pretty, perfect process for your business to save you time, money, AND give your clients a beautiful and unforgettable experience! Pretty Perfect Process workshop is only $75! REGISTER below to start the workshop right away!

LAUNCH SALE! Now through March 1st – type in code PPPLAUNCHSALE for $10 off of the course!

above all else… free printable

Print ABoveAllElse-Gold


I’ve been thinking a lot this week about sharing love and sharing inspiration with others. I created this print for you, and I’d love to share it with you to brighten your day!

Click here to download the Above All Else print in Peach!

Click here to download the Above All Else print in Gold Foil!

scholarship winner for the design life project!

Thank you sincerely to the moon and back to everyone who applied for the scholarship to the Design Life Project! Goodness gracious this was SO, SO tough to choose a winner, but the winner is…

Laura Helm!

Cathy- I so appreciate your willingness to open this course up to a scholarship attendee! What a gift. I ended up going full-time with my company in August during, by far, the toughest year of my life. While I am grateful for where it has lead me, the year challenged me down to my core. August certainly wasn’t my “planned” timeframe to go full-time. However, it has been a steep learning curve coupled with an enormous blessings of ideal clients that have filled my plate up to (even past?) the brim. I’m so desperately in need of structure, hiring, delegating, etc., and would absolutely love to be a part of your Design Life course. I’m incredibly grateful for where He has lead me in the past year, and I just want to glorify Him to my fullest potential. It’s incredible to read through the bullet points/questions you’ve listed in the description and see just how accurately they describe my life. I’m so relieved to know there are other creatives out there that have journeyed through similar seasons! Again, thank you for your generosity & kind heart. I so appreciate the opportunity to apply! Now, I’m going to bed (since I obviously need to work on my boundaries). 🙂

Congratulations Laura! I’m thrilled to offer you a spot in Design Life Project! I’m so excited to have you join us, and I know that your input will also really be able to help others in the class.


Thank you all again for applying! It means a lot to me that you would spent the time. I hope everyone has a fantastic week!


scholarship opportunity for the design life project!


I’m excited to share with you that I’ll be offering a scholarship opportunity to someone for the New Year’s edition of the Design Life Project e-course that starts in a couple weeks!

Since we are so close to selling out, I’d love to offer up this opportunity to someone who may be needing a little help, but who wants to find some balance between work and life and may be feeling a little stuck.

To enter to win this scholarship:

  • Comment on this post below. In your comment, please let me know how this course will help you in your business/life and what you look forward to most.
  • OPTIONAL: Share on social media about the Design Life Project, and what excites you most about finally gaining some balance. You can use this graphic for posting if you’d like!

That’s it! Winner will be picked next Monday, February 10th and will be notified by email. Class starts the following Monday on February 17th. Woo hoooo!


Good luck everyone!!